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BWW Reviews: Non-Stop Fun in COOKING WITH THE CALAMARI SISTERS at Society Hill

Move over Paula Dean and step to the rear Rachel Ray. Carmella and Delphine Calamari are cooking, singing, dancing and brawling their way to the Food Network!  This hodge podge of a cooking show/comedy act actually cooks and serves food to the crowd, as well as invites three victims, AKA unknowing audience members who consequently lose their dignity, at least the men, into their world of mayhem as they share their sorted stories about their Italian family.

Equipped with a full kitchen, a personal jukebox and light up portrait of Jesus; the two spare no one from their wicked, naughty humor as the cook up a really “delish” antipasto, main course and dessert.  

Where in the world did these two come from? According to their bios; Delphine, whose love of meat was known as “the Italian girl who could tell you which butcher a sausage came from with her eyes closed”. She sang duets with her sister Carmella at the St. Lawrence of the Roasted Martyrs Church and excell at Miss Flo Flo’s School of Dance for Bigger Girls.                   

Carmella, who came into the world at 15 pounds, began competing in the Bay Ridge pageant circuits where she was crowned Miss Stuck Pig of Bay Ridge as well as Miss Macaroni of Greater Brooklyn until her disqualification for serving a judge minestrone soup out of her Gucci knock off pump. Carmella was the darling of St. Lady of the Divine Pain High School Drama Club and nearly landed a major role when she was cast as Kathy Bates butt double.

The two sisters combined their two loves of cooking and performing to form the Calamari Sisters Catering Company which eventually led to a public cable access cooking show on WFAT, and that's where we join them.

Make no mistake; these salami slinging brawling siblings bring enough talent to the stage to rival Robin Williams and Jim Carrey on their best days; a cross between slap stick, vaudeville with a non stop mix of stand-alone jokes, gags, Italian shtick, clever wit, and a generous measure of naughtiness, making complete fools of themselves and the audience can’t breathe from laughter from start to finish.

Brainchild of Jay (James) Falzone, Dan Lavender, and Stephen Smith, and though the program won't tell you, Dan plays Carmella and Jay is Delphine.

Rob Andrusko's set supplies a detailed TV studio kitchen, early '60s style. Every Italian song from “That’s Amore” to “Volare” and a few in between add to the infectious madness in this 2 hour plus physically exhausting show.  Each sister has her moment to shine in a soliloquy that would rival Nathan Lane’s “Betrayed” in Mel Brooks “The Producers”.

Cooking with the Calamari Sister, The Musical plays at the Society Hill Playhouse, 507 South 8th Street, Philadelphia through November 4. For tickets and information call 215.923.0210 or visit

"Carmie" and "Del" invite you to stop by their face book page at The Calamari Sisters and spread the word and ... MANGIA!


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From This Author Pati Buehler